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Disability - When the initial decision finds no "nexus"
What is the "nexus" and why is it important?
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Why not speak with both at the same time?
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Gather your evidence and records to support the increase.
If there are civilian medical records, you have to gather those for yourself.
Do not rely on VA to obtain your civilian records.
Join the Army, they said.
You'll learn new skills and see the world.
Determine exactly what your current ratings are before you proceed.
Dig out those original award letters so that you know exactly what sort of benefits and ratings you
have. Don't just guess at it, get the facts. You may need to check your records at the eBenefits site.
Look at the ratings table for your existing benefit.
The Schedule For Rating Disabilities is your guide to what you may be eligible for. You may
learn that your current rating is already at the maximum or that you're current
rating is seriously deficient. You have to research it to know.
Do It Yourself
You Do NOT Need A Representative
We are a DIY site!
If you have an existing rating and you believe that the rated condition is worse
than it was when it was rated or if you believe that your rating is just too low, you
must formally file a claim to increase the rating.
Talking with your doctor or other veterans won't get the process started.
You have to submit the forms. No form, no benefit!
You should consider an IME or an IMO
An Independent Medical Examination or an Independent Medical Opinion
will often make the difference when the details of your claim aren't clear.
The physician who conducts such an exam is a neutral
observer and an expert in disability medicine.
Click here to learn more about these exams.
It's time to file the claim. Use VA Form 21-526EZ
Be as precise as you can to describe just what it is that you want.
Provide supporting evidence.
Congratulations! You're done.
Proceed With Caution!!!
Any time we ask VA to open our file to make any adjustment, we open ourselves up to a
complete review of all ratings. Many veterans get an unpleasant surprise when they discover
that their request for an increase leads to a proposal to decrease a rating. You have an absolute
right to be rated appropriately for each disabling condition you may have incurred during your
honorable military service. If you feel that your rating is not correct for your condition, by all
means seek an increase. Before you do...be sure that you can't lose. Check your current
condition's symptoms against the standards you find in The Schedule For Rating Disabilities.
Match your physical or mental health status to the ones you find there.
If you are confident that you can prove your entitlement to a higher rating, go for it.
If you aren't sure, sometimes sleeping dogs are best left to just lie there.
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